Doig his thing

James Doig is on the brink of Quinnipiac men's soccer history

By on September 12, 2017

Julia Gallop | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
Four years ago, James Doig arrived at Quinnipiac University as a starting freshman midfielder for the men’s soccer team. By 2014, it was declared that his teammate Borja Angoitia held the record for most wins in the history of the team.

To this day Doig never forgot that moment and the impact it had on him.

“Coming in, I remembered it was my sophomore year and it was announced that [Angoitia] was the most winningest player. And I said to myself, ‘That’s something I hope to achieve,’” Doig said. “After my period with, Quinnipiac, I hope to take that spot.”

Doig is now only two victories away from holding the record himself.

Starting the 2017 season with 30 career wins under his belt, the men’s soccer team won its home opener against Saint Joseph’s on Sept. 2. The victory put Doig just one win away from tying Angoitia’s record of 32.

In order to hold the record for himself, however, the men’s soccer team will have to win at least two of its 12 remaining games this season. While the task may not sound too tough for a team that was placed No. 1 in the MAAC preseason rankings, Doig isn’t taking anything for granted.

“The polls mean nothing” said Doig, “They know it means nothing and all the older players tell the [rookies] not to pay attention to it.”

Entering his second year as the captain of the men’s soccer team, Doig’s path to a potential record holder has been spectacular, but not perfect.

Doig grew up in Liverpool, England and played in a multitude of European leagues in England, Spain, Holland and Germany. Through his years at Quinnipiac, he has adjusted to a different type of game in North America.

“He’s a very coachable player,” Quinnipiac head coach Eric Da Costa said. “He’s a competitor that just wants to be on the field and help the team.”

Doig also credited his teammates in regards to the success of his near-perfect shift.

“The transition is huge. There’s so many different playing styles and so many different tactics of the game,” Doig said. “But also Quinnipiac has a lot of international players on our side and we’re all working towards the same goal.”

With the transition out of the way, Doig focused on playing as much soccer as he could. He ended up doing exactly that his freshman year, as he started all 19 games, recorded three assists and was named to the 2013 All-MAAC rookie team.

Doig’s sophomore year went even better than his first. He started all 19 games again, but in 2014 he tallied two goals and doubled his assist total from the year before, for a team leading six.

Come 2015, Doig’s path to becoming a record holder hit a bit of a speed bump. A foot injury sidelined Doig for nearly the entire season, leaving the Bobcats without one of their more experienced players.

Doig tried to deal with the injury as best as he could, as his first reactions were to try to stay positive.

“As soon as I went down it was more of a case of I want to get back up and play,” Doig said. “If I can’t get back up and play, I need to be ready for the next game.”

Despite an attempt to stay optimistic, watching the season from the sidelines was tough. However, Doig came back in his senior year looking sharper than he had before.

In his first year with the “C”, Doig started in 16 games, scored three goals and added another four assists. His stat line, along with his play, earned him a spot on the second All-MAAC team. Despite it being his third All-MAAC selection, it is the one Doig is most proud of.

“(After) only playing about half the games and coming back from eight months out, it was great for me to receive that,” Doig said. “It was a nice feeling.”

Through all of this, Doig hasn’t just had individual success. The men’s soccer team has won two MAAC regular season titles, been to two conference tournament semifinal games and even an NCAA tournament game in 2013.

While Doig has easily grown on the field, he’s also grown into the captain the team wanted him to be.

“We want players who’ll lead our team that are a reflection of us as a staff, believe in what we believe in and can relay our message to the team.” Da Costa said. “Since day one, James has been that guy. He’s earned the respect of his teammates and when the time came, he earned the captain armband”.

Julia Gallop | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
Entering his second year as captain, junior midfielder Shaquille Huggins also notes that Doig is everything a captain needs to be.

“He’s both a captain that leads by example and is very vocal both on and off the field.” Huggins said. “He likes to keep you grounded and make sure you’re doing what you’re supposed to do.”

Despite boasting a multitude of praises and accolades, he also knows that no college player plays for five seasons without getting an education at the same time.

“Off the field he does his schoolwork and does everything well,” Huggins said. “Overall, I think he’s a very good captain.”

Doig is a communications major and just as aware in the classroom as he is on the field.

He was named to the 2016 MAAC All-Academic team in his senior year and Doig has also made the Dean’s list during his time at Quinnipiac. As for his future, many would think a communications major would one day hope to get into the broadcasting side of their favorite sport, but Doig is more worried about his immediate future.

“To be honest, I’m more focused on the [soccer], hopefully get through my Master’ s and complete that,” Doig said. “Then from there just be flexible and see what opportunities come up.”

As Doig’s college career is nearing its end, he only hopes to finish as well as he begun. His rookie season at Quinnipiac was the last time the Bobcats went all the way to the NCAA tournament.

While there’s no doubt Doig would love to leave Quinnipiac having left his mark as the winningest player in program history, leaving with the team on top would be just as nice.

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